Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not a review.

A word of caution - there is no actual movie content here. Just a recommendation. There's a new article over at Entertainment Weekly that combines two favorites of this site. One, Stephen King: the father of modern horror's opinion is always respected, especially when he talks about something as important as Two, food. The article is about movie food and what King likes and doesn't like. The do's and dont's if you will. Good stuff. Here's a money quote concerning popcorn:
If the counter guy puts on the glandular butter substitute himself, I watch carefully to make sure he greases the middle of the bag as well as the top layer. If it's self-serve (at the beginning I didn't like this option, but now I do), I proceed to hammer on that red button until I have what I call a ''heavy bag.'' You know you have a heavy bag when the bottom starts to sag and ooze large drops of a yellow puslike substance before you even get into the theater. And don't forget the salt. Popcorn salt is a little strong for my taste (and it looks like powdered urine); I prefer plain table salt. Half a shaker is about right.

It's good stuff from the master. Highly recommended.


the hamster said...

john - i bet you and myles both could beat stephen king at arm-wrestling. that's a no brainer.

have you heard that eli roth is writing the screenplay and directing the film version of king's CELL? eh? pretty nice. i thought the book was genius. one of king's greatest endings ever. (the man rarely knows how to close down a good story). CELL was a nauseating read. i can't wait to see what HOSTEL-rific roth can pull off with a romero influenced zombie-fest. thoughts?

John Barber said...

Hmm. I don't know how I feel about that. I, too, loved CELL. But Eli Roth hasn't shown me much, you know? CABIN FEVER was nice and HOSTEL had some good moments, but this is a much larger scale. I just don't know...

myleswerntz said...

hmmm....interesting...i don't know how i feel about CELL going celluloid. if/when it does, i'll see it, but i've hated the last few they've done of his.

okay--hate is a strong word--but they've been lackluster.

the hamster said...

john - i liked HOSTEL 2 a great deal. it was obvious from the opening scenes that roth had studied his critics, accepted some much needed constructive advice from fans and experts concerning HOSTEL, and - thereby - made a much superior sequel. whereas HOSTEL was simply 45 minutes of pseudo-porn followed by 45 minutes of pseudo-horror - HOSTEL 2 achieved 90 minutes of fairly nice film. i still never felt spooked, nervous, tense or skeered, but there were some clever murder scenes nonetheless. (need i mention heather matarazzo's inverted suspension meeting with a wheat sickle at the hands of a would-be elizabeth bathory? pure nasty.)

and while we're talking roth, even moreso than the two HOSTEL films combined, i thought the sarcasm and genre-spoofy deliverance of CABIN FEVER proved roth capable of running with the big dogs. unfortunately, like most great hip-hop acts from the early nineties, he digressed after a powerhouse debut.

confession: i still have not seen THE MIST - which is one of my top three favorite king stories, right up there with "the night flier" and "popsy."

myleswerntz said...

THE MIST was good, because he closed out the story in a really ambiguous way--I have to differ with you, hammy, that while CELL has a knockout ending, I like the way he ends a lot of his stories: unresolved, in media res. Like in SALEMS LOT, where you don't know whether the vampires win or not, or in THE STAND where the bad guy may have been reincarnated. To me, these endings are more real than the neat endings that he does on the short stories.

anyway, all that said, THE MIST as a film did some alterations to the ending that I felt were tragically true to King's spirit, but diverged from the story's end. But in the end, a little disappointing. I've yet to see a King movie in the last fifteen years, since, say, THE SHINING, that was really good. And even THE SHINING wasn't that great.

John Barber said...

Actually, myleswerntz, I thought the film ending to THE MIST was quite brilliant. I am a really big fan of that movie (and of anything Fran Darabont does, it seems). On the DVD there is an interview with King where he talks about how much he loves the new ending. Also, the 2-disc DVD set has the entire film in black-&-white. How cool is that?

Back to Eli Roth for a sec. Kevin, I thought HOSTEL 2 was horrible. Terrible. Ridiculous. It had none of the shock and awe factor of the first, and the characters were paper-thin.

the hamster said...

john - you smoke crack through a toilet paper roll. HOSTEL was a piece. a total piece. i watched it twice waiting for the big huu-laa that everyone made such a big huu-laa about. there were a few shocking images, but nothing that kept my attention. not to mention, do you think the characters in HOSTEL are more than paper-thin?

HOSTEL 2 was way superior in every way. better murders. more intense violence. plus, i was ultra disturbed by the scene of scott receiving his call from the buddy that the bid on beth went through. then, even more intense, there was that crazy scene when all the people are trying to outbid each other for the chance to torture these young captives. that scene stayed in my head for weeks - particularly the old grandmother bidding on her horse in montana. there was nothing like that in HOSTEL. what say ye to that?

and you never answered to the heather matarazzo scene?

stevie said...

horror nerds.

John Barber said...

First thought.

Horror nerds? HORROR NERDS? Cool.

Second thought.

HOSTEL. I never said that the first film was a masterpiece. The first half is extraordinarily boring. The only thing that it has going for it is the concept. When it came out, the concept was fresh. By the second film, it was cheese.

I think that CABIN FEVER blows both of them away. It, at least, seems to be self-aware in its cheesiness.

Roth is going to be challenged having a real script and a real story. It'll be a good test for him - I just hope he doesn't screw it up. I liked CELL.

Oh yeah, the Matarazzo scene. Buckets of blood don't impress me. Am I supposed to be impressed by Roth because he throws a nod to Bathory? Come on.

the hamster said...

john - you are right about a many things:

- HOSTEL did have a fresh concept
- CABIN FEVER has a cheesiness awareness that makes it endearing
- roth stands a huge challenge with a real script and storyline
- it is so cool to be called horror nerds!

however, the bathory nod - though not scary - simply disturbed the appetite out of me for a few days. that's alls i'm saying there.

shite, dude, when are we going to chat these things up in person?